Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hike Description- Saturday, Stone Door, 9 miles, Strenuous, Ron Dunn leads

Stone Door, Big Creek Gulf, Laurel Trails.  9 miles strenuous.  Very rocky.  Beersheba  Springs, TN.  Hike Leader Ron Dunn
After enjoying the spectacular overlooks at the Great Stone Door we will descend through the Stone Door down to Big Creek Gulf.  The trail descends steeply  down the rocky slope then parallels Big Creek upstream, crossing rocks most of the time.  We have the option of visiting Ranger Creek Falls, which spills over a 20 ft. ledge  and disappears into a sink.  Such vanishing falls are called terminal falls.  Back on the main trail  we’ll have the option of  visiting the sinks of  Big Creek.  Here the creek flows into a deep green pool and disappears.  The geology  in Big Creek Gulf is amazing.  (Joan thought she was on another planet.)  After wandering four miles through fantastic rock formations we climb steeply up out of Big Creek Gulf and into the Alum Gap Campground area.  The three mile easy, flat Laurel Trail will take us back.  

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